Oeschger, Hans geboren 2.4.1927 Ottenbach, gestorben 25.12.1998 Bern

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Sohn des Hans Albin Oeschger, Pfarrer in Ottenbach ZH und der Frieda geb. Rathgeb

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1945-51 Physikstud. an der ETH Zürich und 1951-55 in Bern, ∞ 1955 Dora Häuptli. 1955 Promotion (Entwicklung eines Zählers zur Messung schwacher Radioaktivitäten, genannt Oeschger-Zähler) bei Friedrich Georg Houtermans in Bern, ab 1960 PD für Experimentalphysik, besonders Radioaktivität, ab 1963 ao., 1971-92 o. Prof. am physikal. Institut der Univ. Bern. Mit seinem Zählrohr konnte O. natürl. Radioisotope (v.a. C-14) genau messen. Durch Anwendung dieser Methoden auf das System Erde wurde er zum Pionier der Umweltphysik und Klimaforschung. Er erkannte die Bedeutung der Eisschilder in Grönland und der Antarktis als Klimaarchive und rekonstruierte die Klimageschichte der letzten 150'000 Jahre aufgrund von Messungen an Eisbohrkernen. O. warnte als einer der Ersten vor der Erwärmung der Erdatmosphäre durch CO2 und engagierte sich in internat. Organisationen zur Erforschung der Klimaveränderungen (u.a. Mitbericht für den UNO-Erdgipfel in Rio de Janeiro 1992). 2007 wurde an der Univ. Bern das Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research eröffnet. 1990 Marcel-Benoist-Preis, 1996 Tyler-Preis, 1997 Roger- Revelle-Medaille.


– Nature 397, 1999, 396 – SANW Info, 1999, Nr. 1 – New Dictionary of Scientific Biography 5, 2008, 326-331

Autorin/Autor: Viktor Gorgé

Quelle: Historisches Lexikon der Schweiz

Nachruf in der New York Times

Hans Oeschger, Geologist, 71, An Expert on Greenhouse Gases


Hans Oeschger, a Swiss geologist who sounded early warnings about the risk that emissions of industrial waste gases might bring on climate change, died on Friday, after a long illness, according to press reports from Bern. He was 71.

He spent nearly 40 years in the Department of Physics at the University of Bern before retiring as emeritus professor of physics in 1995. He was honored for his life's work a year ago by the American Geophysical Union, which awarded him its Roger Revelle Medal.

Dr. Oeschger believed that the emission of greenhouse gases had to be brought under control. To that end he pleaded for scientific and political action and for international documentation of the problem. His specialty was isotope geochemistry, and he contributed more than 200 articles to scientific publications. He was an advocate and practitioner of ice core research in both polar regions to track the world's climate as far back as possible.

The American Geophysical Union, in its citation, said his teams of fellow scientists and students pioneered many innovations, which have led to a better understanding of how the carbon cycle currently operates, how it might have differed during glacial time, and how human activity might alter it in the future. The carbon cycle is the exchange of carbon between living organisms and the nonliving environment. Dr. Oeschger's research covered many of its vital aspects as he studied climate changes occurring over many thousands of years.

Snow that fell on woolly mammoths during the last ice age turned to solid ice and remains in place to this day. Dr. Oeschger suspected that the air breathed by the mammoths was there as well, trapped in bubbles for scientists to evaluate.

He analyzed bubbles of fossil air locked deep into the layers of polar ice in Greenland and Antarctica and developed new methods for gaining information from the ice, including applying radiocarbon dating to this process. He invented the Oeschger counter, a contraption that measures tiny amounts of natural radiation. His work, going back 40 years, made him a world authority on the greenhouse effect. While he hypothesized that recurring ice ages brought drastic climate shifts throughout the earth's geological history, his research indicated that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere had markedly increased over the past 200 years.

Hans Oeschger was born in Ottenbach, near Zurich. He studied at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and earned his doctorate in 1955 at the University of Bern, where he became a professor.

Oeschger-Zentrum für Klimaforschung (OCCR) Bern

Auf der Webseite des nach Hans Oeschger benannten Zentrums, sind weitere Informationen über das Wirken des Klimaforschers zu lesen. Auch ein Video über die Grönland-Expedition von Hans Oeschger ist zu sehen. http://www.oeschger.unibe.ch

Noch mehr über das Leben und Wirken , sowie über Auszeichnungen und Ehrungen in der Wikipediaseite: "Hans Oeschger"

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